Happy Monday, friends! It’s a rainy day and I’m sitting in bed with Margot and my laptop. Last week was a big “mom week” – both girls love our nanny but have had a lot of big feelings since there’s been a transition. I barely got any work done minus a big shoot at our house on Tuesday, but that’s ok. It’s nice to slow down and to be able to spend extra time with them. I’ve been really anxious about steroids coming up this week so I’m just trying to do whatever I need to do to get through that. Right now, this feels good so here I am. I also want to say thank you to everyone who sent a note just saying “hi” or wishing me the best. You’re all so kind. 

Q&A: Most-Requested Links, Caring for Boxwoods, Paint, and How I’m Doing

I received a few questions and a lot of link requests, so let’s get going. A reminder that you can find links to most of the things you see on instagram in my shop. I’m trying to be better about adding everything there to make things easier for everyone. You can shop my home by room, all the girls’ stuff, my clothes etc. 


Most asked Q: Are your boxwoods real? How are you caring for them this summer? 

I always say this but you really never know what people are going to be the most interested in. I’ve gotten a ton of questions about our boxwoods and want to make it very clear that I do not have a green thumb, but Conor is pretty good at keeping plants alive, and I did some research on this one. We purchased the terra cotta and 2 of the boxwoods from Christy Weber and the rest of the boxwoods from Home Depot. We do planning on watering them almost every day and will water them at least once a day on hot summer days. Terra cotta planters heat up and can really scorch them, and winter can be a struggle, too, so we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it. 


How are you doing? 

I am better than I thought I’d be this week and am generally happier these days. We were able to see friends twice last week and it felt so good to have those normal moments. I’ve really missed having friends and want that normalcy for the girls. I was struggling a bit last week and actually paged our oncologist to chat through where we are with COVID and the things we can do safely. Felt great to chat through all of that.

Margot’s steroids begin in a few days and they are so anxiety-inducing for me. We’ve had some of our worst treatment moments around getting her to take them (they’re really bitter). The side effects aren’t fun but it’s only 5 days and manageable, and I’ve worked so hard on gently prepping her that they’re coming. She’s older now, we have a box of bribes (toys), and she can do this.

Not working full-time has been really good for me

Especially after the last year of treatment and almost a decade of never slowing down. I feel lighter and it’s nice to do less. I’ve learned through therapy not to push myself and to do what feels right for me – whether it’s with work, the kids, or seeing friends during COVID. So between slowing down, anxiety meds, therapy, and getting to be outside, I’m feeling lighter and happier. To be in a position where I can work when it feels right, and to be able to slow down a bit. I turned down another campaign last week because it was fine but not amazing, and I didn’t need the stress. That’s not to say I don’t have to work, but with blogging, I can definitely do less without pressure and still do ok. 

I’m glad we can do distanced hangouts in our yards or let Margot play masked outside with other kids. If you’re vaccinated and at a big dinner or are not diligent about mask-wearing, the risk feels too high for her, and as her mom, it’s ok for me to do what feels right without any guilt or worry about how others will feel. Coming up with guidelines helps me worry less since I have a plan and it really doesn’t matter how it impacts anyone else. 


How did you deal with anxiety during a pregnancy after a miscarriage? 

This answer probably won’t be helpful and if it’s not, I’m so sorry. That anxiety is so real, and we all cope differently. I was less anxious than I thought I’d be. I am a worrier but knew it was out of my control – that there was nothing I could do. We did early genetic testing so once I knew she was ok genetically that helped a lot. 


Do you have a good chiropractor in Chicago? 

Don’t hate me for saying this but I am not pro-chiropractor (for me personally). I’ve been to a few and adjustments were always a temporary fix. You have to do what’s right for you but I prefer PT and highly highly recommend Josh McFarren. He’s amazing. I haven’t been since the pandemic but want to go back soon. 


What size shelves do you have in Kate’s room? 

We have these, 36″


What color did you paint Kate’s nursery? 

I went with chantilly lace. 


How do you store bath toys? 

I tossed any toys that could collect mold (so all squirty toys) when Margot started treatment and we store them in this


What thermometer do you use? 

We have the Welch Allyn 01690-200 SureTemp Plus 690 but you now need a business account to purchase it on Amazon. I bought it after my friend Stacy recommended it (her daughter was two years ahead of Margot in treatment). We have to go in if Margot has a fever so it helps to get an accurate read. 


How do you like the the Aira facial steamer? 

I love it. The brand actually reached out a while ago and asked if I wanted to partner, but I asked to test it out first. It’s amazing and currently on sale. Now that I’ve had a few months with it, I’m going to share some sponsored stories soon. 


How did you hang your patio lights? 

I got this one a lot over the weekend but we did not hang them. The old owners put them up and left them there for us. I’ll take some photos and figure out what they used. 


What are the trees along your fence called? 

They’re arborvitae. 


Do you like your dental implants and who did them?

I have temps in right now while the implants heal, and will then get my final crowns. The procedure was as seamless as it could have been and honestly wasn’t bad. I saw Dr. Daniel Chin for the implant procedure and Dr. Abraham Stein (love his practice) for the temp crowns. I’m also doing invisalign to move one tooth before the finals go in. That’s been pretty easy, too. 


Kate’s outfits? 

Both of Kate’s outfits used to belonged to Margot, so they’re 2 years old. One is Jamie Kay (they make a similar one here) and the other is Rylee and Cru. 


Tell me about the mats the girls were playing on outside? 

We love our gathre mats. The ones we had outside were the midi. I bought one to keep under Kate’s baby seat when she eats and the other for craft projects, but they’re a bit too small for all of us to sit on together, so I ordered a maxi one yesterday. 


Where is the girls’ playhouse from? 

I’ll link below but need to note that it’s fine, but not amazing. It was the only one I liked that was available last summer. Painting made it a lot cuter, but the roof is plastic and it is completely empty (no kitchen – nothing to do).  I wanted this but it was sold out at the time. It’s now available. Not sure which one to go with? Just look at this DIY. It’s so sweet!


What diaper bag do you use and what’s inside? 

Not really going many places right now but I do love our diaper bag. I often throw things inside a tote with baggu 3d bags.  


How do you like your CB2 Outdoor furniture?

It’s great if you have a covered patio or are going to cover it any time it rains. We ruined a set of cushions last year after not covering a few times (oops) but CB2 sent us a replacement so it wasn’t a big deal. It’s been great otherwise, so I would recommend it. There isn’t a matching coffee or dining table and since we’re not doing anything this summer and need more seating to get together with people outside, we’re actually switching out our furniture (ordered with a trade account at the Merch Mart). It should arrive in June! 


Where’s _______ from? 

What helped you decide to get a helmet for Kate. Any tips? 

I talked more about her helmet in this blog post and shared a before and during photo as well. Her head was pretty uneven but didn’t feel like a big deal to me – how could it after everything we went through last year? That’s not to minimize that it does feel like something for other moms, but really, it’s just a helmet for an uneven head. Perspective, right? We went in for a consult and a helmet was recommended, so we moved forward. We’re done next week!


Go-to recipes?

I’m a little embarrassed to admit that I haven’t really been cooking lately, so I did a little meal planning and made this sheet pan dinner (it was so good – even the girls loved it!) and fajitas. 


How are the girls with Buddy? 

Buddy is the sweetest dog and the girls are great with him. Margot went through a phase where she was a little too rough with him but he handled it with class and grace. He’s the best. 


Have any other questions after reading this? Leave them in the comments below!